If you are in the market for a luxury SUV, you would do well to take a long look at the Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription.
A follow-up to the original XC90 that debuted way back in 2002, the 2016 Volvo XC90 is a large, three-row crossover that competes head-on with the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7.
The base XC90 will run you $48,900 and the T6 Inscription model I tested tops out at $71,600.
What We Liked
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
My favorite feature of the XC90 turned to be something I initially scoffed at. The idea of adaptive cruise control seemed to me to take the essence of driving away from the driver. I was wrong. Living in Southern California with the at time unbearable freeway traffic makes adaptive cruise control possibly one of the most driver-friendly auto innovation in the past few years. I’m not afraid to admit that the idea of giving up all acceleration and braking control scared the crap out of me.
I finally manned up and let the Volvo take control. This isn’t true autonomous driving, but it’s close. The idea is that the vehicle uses sensors to maintain a safe driving distance between you and the vehicles in front of you. ACC will not only slow you when necessary but will also brake you to a stop, then accelerate back to your selected speed. During my test drive, I had to return from a trip down to Torrance back to my home north of Los Angeles. This was on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend at the height of rush hour. A trip that would normally take 90 minutes took a full 3 1/2 hours. The adaptive cruise control performed flawlessly and was the only things that kept me sane during the trip. IF you spend any time in traffic, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
The SC90 can go from comfortable and luxurious to sporty and dynamic with the toggle of the drive mode button. Off-Road locks the rear differential and raises the vehicle to clear obstacles; Comfort softens the suspension for a more comfortable ride; ECO calibrates to engine for maximum fuel economy; Dynamic Mode that remaps the throttle and holds the transmission in each gear a bit longer before shifting up. It also lowers the car a bit to provide better handling; and finally, Individual which allows you to tailor the driving experience to your personal preferences.
Bowers & Wilkins Sound System
Our review model included the Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system. With 19 speakers and an integrated 1400 watt the is integrated into the chassis providing you with the most immersive sound experience available on any vehicle available today.
What We Didn’t
Okay, I’ll admit I am being a little nitpicky here. There just weren’t many things that I didn’t like about this SUV. Being a bit of a tech geek, I would assume I would get up to speed fairly quickly on all of the settings and options available. Even after my DriveShop rep spent 30 minutes with me on delivering the XC90, there were still few occasions I had to pull over and dig through the multitude of touchscreen menus to find a setting I wanted to change. You will definitely need to spend some time getting to know this car.
We Love This SUV
I didn’t want to give the XC90 back. At the end of most reviews, I am ready to get on to the next thing. But with the XC90, I wanted more. It had started to feel like this was my car and someone was taking it away from me. This is easily my favorite vehicle I have ever driven and it’s easy to see why MotorTrend awarded the XC90 is 2016 SUV of the Year award.